I’m so dead tired I have dreams about sleeping. The three kids seem to collude together to wake up independently of each other thereby insuring my inability to sleep for the longest possible time. To add insult to insomnia, Little Guy wakes up with the sun; so summer mornings start early around here. Combine that with the July heat (yeah, it’s not just the humidity!) and the almost-nonstop pace we keep in the summer, and you get one tired mama!
Fast easy meals that help me survive the dinner hour are my BFF right now. I refuse to sink as low as pre-packaged meals to get food on the table, but I am looking for shortcuts. When I have three kids screaming during the witching hour and it’s as hot and sticky as gum on a Texas sidewalk; I want fast, and I want cold.
Right now peaches are just coming into season up here. I’m eating them up by the dozen. Some standing right over the sink to catch the juicy drips, some sliced in pieces that I share with Miss Magoo (my little fruit fiend). Some tossed in a salad with farro, fresh mint and a little sweet onion then topped with crumbled feta.
See, it all started with the par-cooked farro. Par-cooked grains are not exactly a new invention, but I’ve never seen the par-cooked farro that Trader Joes is now selling before last week (they had barley too). Of course I pounced on it. When it’s hot and sticky outside and your doing your best to be earth/wallet conscious and not blast the AC down to a level that would make a penguin feel at home, cooking a pot of farro stove top for almost an hour does not seem like a fun afternoon. When I bought them, I knew they were headed for a cold salad, when I tasted this year’s peaches, I knew it would be a salad with peach.
Making the salad was insanely easy. The farro cooks just like pasta, boiling in salted water for ten minutes. I was able to whip up the rest of the salad while the grain cooked, then toss it all together after cooling off the farro. It took less than 20 minutes start to finish. The finished salad is stunning and tastes great right away. The mint turns brown over time, but the flavors just get better the next day. If you wanted to make this ahead of time, leave out the mint until right before service and then toss it in, or just add another sprinkle to the top for garnish.
Now don’t go thinking that I can actually get Little Guy to spring for a salad with peaches, raw onion and feta in it. Hubby and I love it, and sometimes it isn’t about him (you don’t have to tell him that though). There are some nights, okay a lot of them, that he can settle for leftovers. (Miss Magoo loved the farro; Squishy Delishy tolerated it.) The salad was the meal that kept on giving too. We had it for dinner one night, then I ate on it for several more days. Until it was all gone, I kept wanting to grab the bowl standing up right in front of the fridge and eat it right out of the container. Never fear, my Mama taught me well; I am civilized. I sat down first! Enjoy!